May 08 2007

Red Eye – How to Deal with it in your Photos

Published by at 5:53 am under Better Photos

You have seen the dreaded demon-eye effect that occurs when the camera flash bounces off the eye of a person or pet. An otherwise wonderful picture can be ruined by this. Technically, this is called red-eye and is caused when the pupil of your subject’s eye is wide open and the light from the camera’s flash reflects off the subject’s retina. In people, the color ends up red; in pets, the color is often green.

3 Ways to Deal with Red Eye

Most photo editing programs include a red-eye correction filter, and on newer programs this feature is very easy to use. This option does, however, require some work between the taking of the photo and the printing of it.

It is rare to find a digital camera that does not come with a red-eye reduction feature. This feature can be turned off or on. It is best left on in all circumstances other than direct sunlight. The red-eye reduction feature works by flashing a short burst of light at your subject before you snap the picture. This burst of light causes the subject’s pupil to close and makes it less likely for the camera’s flash to reflect off the retina. This in turn reduces the chance of red-eye. A disadvantage to this feature is that people often think the preliminary flash is a signal that the photo has been taken and they change their pose. Warning them ahead of time usually stops this from happening.

If you are indoors and your camera has a flash that can be swivelled or tilted, it also helps to direct the flash of your camera so it does not directly hit your subject’s eyes. Bouncing the flash off a nearby wall or other object will soften its effect and reduce the chances of this unwanted malady. Another option for some cameras is to buy a flash diffuer. This is a small attachment for your flash that has a translucent cover that makes the light from your flash less harsh.

Between bouncing the flash, using a diffuer, using your digital camera’s red-eye reduction feature, or editing the photo on your computer, your little angel, whether human or animal, will have eyes that don’t glow.

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